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Proud Luis Enrique searches for answers

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is unsure what went wrong for his team to give up a three-goal lead, but he was pleased with their response on their way to winning the UEFA Super Cup.

The European champions were cruising with a 4-1 lead early in the second half after a Lionel Messi brace and goals from Luis Suarez and Rafinha had cancelled out Ever Banega’s opener.

But Unai Emery’s men fought their way back and forced extra time, only for Pedro to score a 115th-minute winner to secure a 5-4 win for Barca.

Luis Enrique said he would look for answers as to why and how Sevilla came back, but he praised his team for fighting once more.

“When you’re leading 4-1, the opponent has nothing to lose,” he said.

“Obviously we have to analyse what happened and the risk that Sevilla took. They managed to come back. It happens sometimes. They had a penalty and used the wings.

“It was the same last season in La Liga. We were leading 2-0 and finally they drew the game. Today it happened the same in a final, but we can’t forget Sevilla’s strength.

“It seems Barcelona is expected to win every title, but it is not always like this.

“What we did has a lot of merit. So I am very proud of how the players managed to restart again when it was 4-4 and create new chances.”

Luis Enrique said he felt the game was over in the 52nd minute, when Suarez struck to make it 4-1.

That was before Jose Antonio Reyes, Kevin Gameiro and Yevhen Konoplyanka all scored to force extra time in Tbilisi.

“We knew how difficult our opponent would be. Games can start randomly, like this one did. I think it was a great game for the fans,” Luis Enrique said.

“By the third minute we were losing, but at the 50th minute it seemed done. It is always difficult when you’re facing an opponent at such a high level, it is always difficult.

“We are happy for our fans and players. The players put in an important effort after Sevilla managed to equalise. We’re satisfied and now it’s time to recover.”

Wed 12 Aug, 2015
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